Scientists are training spiders to jump on command and f*** this

They want to learn about robots. I want to leave the planet.

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
Expertise Space, Futurism, Science and Sci-Tech, Robotics, Tech Culture Credentials
  • Webby Award Winner (Best Video Host, 2021), Webby Nominee (Podcasts, 2021), Gold Telly (Documentary Series, 2021), Silver Telly (Video Writing, 2021), W3 Award (Best Host, 2020), Australian IT Journalism Awards (Best Journalist, Best News Journalist 2017)
Claire Reilly

Might as well jump.

University of Manchester screenshot by Claire Reilly/CNET

Researchers have trained a spider named Kim to jump six times her body length to work out how to build better "micro jumping robots ."

Goodbye, half of our readers.

A team at the University of Manchester measured the movement of a 1.5mm-long (0.6-inch) Regal Jumping Spider using high-speed cameras, tracking the way the spider made short and long jumps from a standing start.

In total, the spider could jump six times its body length (humans max out about 1.5 times their body length).

The researchers found spiders use hydraulic pressure to extend their legs and that the force on their subject spider at take-off was five times her body weight. They also discovered Kim was more comfortable jumping lower rather than higher, confirming your fears that, yes, there's a spider above you ready and willing to jump at all times.

In a video that is both the most terrifying and most adorable thing you will see today, you can also see how spiders attach silk to their jumping surface as a safety tether.

The research team also built a tiny robot to match the spider's jumping ability, but found "power and control electronics cannot compete with nature at this scale yet."

Well that sounds ominous.

Here's a video. OK, now good night forever.